We are about to release another hotfix (most likely tomorrow) for Google Play users that will contain the following improvements:
Multiple server support w/ dynamic scaling
As most of you noticed, taxiing at the default airport (KHAF) in the default region (San Francisco) was a bit of a mess last week due to the overwhelming number of new Infinite Flight Live subscribers.
Fortunately we did anticipate this and we already had a solution ready; we needed to see how our server would handle a large number of people at once in order to optimize the right things and make the right decisions about how to improve the overall Infinite Flight experience.
In order to solve this, we now have multiple servers to handle all pilots. When connecting to Infinite Flight Live, you will be directed to the first server with enough resources to handle the current number of pilots + you. If all current servers are full, new servers are launched to handle the load.
In the future, we might improve the heuristic used to select the best server including your starting airport, your standing, XP, etc. The goal is to give everyone the best flying experience.
Custom server selection to play with friends
As mentioned in the previous section, when connecting to Infinite Flight Live you will be assigned to a random server. This solves the issue with having too many pilots in the same location but it makes it hard to fly with your friends.
For this, we added a new server selection menu that allow you to specify which server (from the list of currently available ones) you want to connect to. Be aware that this setting is not persistent: it will revert to the default behavior (random selection) the next time you fly.
High standing servers
Most pilots like to follow procedures but others like to crash in everything ;) There is not much we can do at this point to prevent some pilots to ruin the experience of others; we could increase the price of a subscription in order to deter people with bad intentions or we could add a voting system as some of you suggested but none of those solutions seem to fit our vision for Infinite Flight Live. High standing servers is an attempt to solve this issue; in the same server selection menu mentioned above, you will find a server dedicated to pilots with 90% standing and more. Connecting to this server will guarantee you to be flying with like-minded pilot.
As we improve our automatic server selection algorithm, we might get rid of those specific high standing servers since we will be able to better match pilots together.
Servers in multiple location (USA, Europe, Asia, for now)
In an effort to improve the performance for everyone around the globe, we have servers that are located in different physical locations. This has a couple advantages:
- Redundancy: if, for some reason there is a catastrophic failure in the datacenter hosting our dedicated servers, we can quickly spawn a few more instances in another location so everyone can continue to enjoy Infinite Flight Live
- Performance: you might experience better performance if you manually select a server that is physically closer to you (this is not always true but you can try). We will probably include this in our server selection algorithm in the future to make it even easier for the end-user.
Prevented selection of big airplanes at small airports
In this past week, we noticed that a lot of pilots were getting violation for starting at an airport with an airplane that was too big for it. There is indeed a rule that will generate violation if you land at an airport that cannot handle the airplane class you are currently flying, however we forgot about the case when pilots start at that airport.
This indeed was a bug that will be fixed in our upcoming hotfix release.
Other issues that should be fixed
There are a couple other issues that were reported that should be fixed:
- Black scenery tiles appearing after multiple flights
- Only top left portion of the screen is displayed when starting Infinite Flight while holding the device in portrait
Note to iOS users
We understand that you have been waiting to have access to Infinite Flight Live and we appreciate your patience and support. Unfortunately we won't be able to release this week (this is exactly why we prefer not to give dates since we anticipate some of you to be disappointed). We did send the update to Apple, but with all the changes we recently made, we need to resend a new version and wait another week (or so) for it to be accepted. That being said, we believe this is for the best and will guaranty a smoother experience when we launch Infinite Flight Live on iOS.
In the meantime, here are a few screenshots from this past week